Minas Gerais

Historic towns like Tiradentes are Minas' pride

Minas Gerais is a state in Brazil's Southeast region. Minas Gerais is a large state with a valuable XVIII century cultural heritage, originated in the Brazilian gold mining era. The state has also a nationwide popular cuisine, and beautiful landscapes in the Serra da Mantiqueira and Serra da Canastra mountain ranges.



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Minas Gerais was the seedbed of the Brazilian revolution. Inspired by the American and French revolutions, a group of Mineiros, led by Joaquim José da Silva Xavier, nicknamed Tiradentes because he was a dentist, tried to break free from Portuguese rule, but was suppressed. The motto of Minas is Libertas quae sera tamen (Liberty, though it be delayed).

"Minas Gerais" means "General Mines", so called because of the various mines in the area. Some still operate; in February 2006 a ring of diamond smugglers, passing off diamonds from Minas as if they were South African, was broken up.


Electricity in Minas Gerais is 110 V 60 Hz, but there may be 220 V outlets, so ask. Plugs have two round prongs about 2 cm apart, but outlets that also handle US plugs are common in places frequented by tourists, such as hotels and LAN houses.


Mineiros speak Portuguese like other Brazilians, but, for some, the mineiro accent can be difficult to understand. Middle-class young people usually speak at least some English. Some expressions are often linked to the concept of the mineiro accent. Examples:

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By plane

Major airports serving the state are located in Belo Horizonte, Juiz de Fora and Uberlândia.



Minas' traditional cuisine is unique but was mainly influenced by the Portuguese. Minas prides itself on its food, and comida mineira restaurants can be found throughout the country.


Minas is home to various producers of (the finest, as some might say) cachaça, a very strong drink, often found on recipes for caipirinha cocktails. It's capital, Belo Horizonte, is said to be the "alcoholics' paradise", with more than ten thousand bars and restaurants.

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This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Wednesday, June 11, 2014. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.